A 20-member-strong herd of wild elephants entered the villages on the fringes of Koundinya wildlife sanctuary in Ramakuppam mandal on Wednesday creating panic among villagers.
The herd emerged into the fields at tribal hamlet of Moddanapalle in the mandal in the early hours and continued to wreak havoc till dawn. Forest Range Officer (Kuppam) Kalappa Naidu said that by 7.00 pm on Wednesday, the herd was seen moving close to the village.
Leading forest staff in large numbers, the official rushed to the area to supervise driving away the animals into the forest.
It was for the first time that a massive herd of 20 elephants struck the fields though on earlier occasions, the group ranged between 7 and 12.
Generally, the migratory season of the pachyderms would end by January end, but the phenomenon had stretched to March this year, causing concern to officials and villagers.
Steps being taken
Mr. Kalappa Naidu said that the elephants had now deserted the Pedduru village, where they lingered for over two months. “We are taking all steps to drive away the animals into their natural habitat. The farmers are also cooperating with us fully,” he said.